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What Do You Know About Chiropractic?

Updated on April 16, 2012


Chiropractic is the medical discipline that believe that many health issues can be corrected by manipulation and adjustment of the spine. Most chiropractic adjustments are done by DC's (Doctors of Chiropractic) but some DO's(Osteopathic Doctors) do spinal adjustments. Most chiropractors use spinal and joint adjustments to correct subluxation, or miss-adjustment of the spine and joints.

Until 1987, The American Medical Association refused to recognize chiropractic as anything more then witchcraft. The AMA now says the chiropractic is an effective treatment for back pain, headache, and other muscle-skeletal complaints.

If you go to a chiropractor, expect that you will need x-rays to be taken of your spine and neck. No reputable chiropractor will adjust you without x-rays showing the condition of your spine.

Most chiropractors, once they determine the area that needs adjustment will apply heat to the area, either before or after the adjustment. Expect to hear a popping noise when the joint is adjusted.

Pick Your Doctor Carefully

Like any discipline, you have chiropractors who are honest and try to help their patients, but you may run into one that is a bit on the scammy side.

We had occasionally seen a chiropractor when my wife was in a car accident. I would often take her to appointments, and this guy was wonderful. He worked hard every appointment to make her feel better. There were heat packs, massage, adjustments. When she first started after the accident, he would see her twice a week, then once a week, and eventually 2 times a month. Then he told her she should be fine to resume any activity she wanted.

We moved to another community about an hour away, and my wife had fallen and hurt her back, so she wanted to see another chiropractor. The one we found could be described nicely as an opportunist. He insisted that her injury was terrible, and that unless she started coming 6 days a week, she might lose her ability to walk. Anyway, she started treatment, and we would take her every night after I got off work. His treatment consisted of her sitting in a chair with a weight on her neck, then he would adjust her. The previous doctor's adjustments might take 15-20 minutes, this guy took about 30 seconds. He would touch her back and say that is it. When we asked why the adjustments were so short, he said he had to take small steps. Okay, he obviously knew more than us.

After a couple weeks, the good doctor told her to get better she needed to be taking his brand of vitamins, then the pitch was that he had a line of food that she should eat for good health. Then the pitch came to start attending his church that would heal not only the spirit but the spine. We pulled the plug, and looked for another chiropractor.

We found an older guy that was quite earnest about his work, and his adjustments consisted of heat, then time on a nerve stimulator, and finally a 12-25 minute manual adjustment.

Long story short, the guy that needed all the appointments submitted a bill for 44k to the insurance company. They investigated and determined they would pay $1 per visit for his services which paid him $44. He had agreed to accept what the insurance paid, so we were not on the hook for his bill.

The moral of the story is, not all chiropractors are alike. Check them out, ask around if people know of a good chiropractor.


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      Lara Cawthra 8 years ago from Camberley, Surrey

      I agree with Sherman Chiroprac. In the UK xrays are used to confrim a suspected diagnosis rather than taken at every patient visit. The diagnosis should already be formed from physical, neurological and orthopaedic tests. Further chiropractic is different to orthodox medicine. Chiropractic aims to restore the balance (homeostasis)of the body by restoring mechanical dysfuncyion. In contract orthodox medicine seeks to identify the disease process and use direct intervention on the disease, primarily using drugs and surgery

    • Sherman Chiroprac profile image

      Sherman Chiroprac 8 years ago from Spartanburg, SC

      Not all chiropractors use heat, though many will do xrays before attempting a first adjustiment. There is not always a popping sound to an adjustment, as some subluxations need only a slight force to put them right.